Monday, January 27, 2014

Short Rib Bolognese

I am less than thrilled to report that I have caught one of the nasty bugs that's floating around town. Yup, I currently have a 102 degree fever (which is not the kind of hot I like to be) and a very cranky attitude (which is not kind of bitchy I like to be.) And, while I am much more lucky than most and have the freedom in my schedule to indulge my immune system with 48 hours of couch ridden movie watching, I am still very mad. Sick and tired and mad... or as Rich would say, "Somebody please help me." 

Right now, there are two very big problems that I am having with being sick. Firstly, at this very moment in my fridge, there is a fresh black truffle from Burgundy, France. I know... I am one lucky ginger... (or "zhan-zhay" as I say when I'm being fancy.) You see, this truffle was bought to be shaved over uova da raviolo tonight at a dinner that I have been really been looking forward to hosting. A dinner that has been scheduled for nearly six weeks. A dinner that due to my germ-ridden-self, now has to be rescheduled. 

Secondly, also calling my refrigerator home is a very large tupperware container filled with homemade pasta tossed with a decadent short rib bolognese. Why is this a problem? Because my sick ass is eating chicken soup instead. Ok, maybe I'm being slightly dramatic, but I had to tie my "poor me, I am sick" pity party to my bolognese recipe somehow, right? But, let's focus on what's important, shall we?

Short rib bolognese. I know, I had never thought of it either... and neither had the sweet boy helping me at our butcher shop. His mind was blown when I told him why I had requested 2 pounds of short rib to be ground up for me. You see, Richard are I were at McCalls Meat & Fish Co. last weekend and brought home short rib and gruyere sausages, which was one of the most delicious things that I have ever put in my mouth. And then these sausages got me thinking... why don't people use short ribs for everything!? Ok, maybe not everything, it would probably make a terrible face cream, plus it's pretty fatty and Pilates can only do so much... but, every once in a while, a little indulgence is good for you! And that, my friends, is how this recipe came into play. 

Unless you are much fancier than I am and have a meat grinder at home (hint hint, dear husband,) you will need a butcher to grind the meat for you but, trust me when I say that, this is one of the tastiest, most decadent bolognese sauces that I have ever had... let alone made! 

You can, of course, substitute the ground short rib for a more traditional blend of ground beef, veal, and pork, but then you may as well make split pea soup with turkey bacon. And that, for me, is a fate worse than this immobilizing infection.

Homemade Fettuccine & Short Rib Bolognese

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped 
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
2 pounds ground short rib
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups (isn) beef stock or chicken stock, divided
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk

Homemade fettuccine... find my recipe HERE!
(if you must use store bought pasta, look for a fresh egg pasta!)
Finely grated Parmesan 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes.  Add the ground short rib and sauté, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. Make sure that you brown the meat all the way, that is where a lot of the flavor comes from! Add wine and reduce 2-3 minutes, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. Add tomato paste and then the stock, stirring to blend. Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally. As the liquid reduces, continue to add more stock. Cook for about 2-3 hours.
  • Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan and then gradually add it to the meat sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes. 

    Serve over pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. 
    Makes about 8 servings. 

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